Novel Quality Indicators for Radiologists Interpreting Abdominopelvic CT Images: Risk-Adjusted Outcomes Among Emergency Department Patients With Right Lower Quadrant Pain
Matthew S. Davenport, Shokoufeh Khalatbari, James H. Ellis, Richard H. Cohan, Suzanne T. Chong, Keith E. Kocher American Journal of Roentgenology. 2018;210:1292-1300. 10.2214/AJR.17.19163
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether individual radiologists are predictive of important relevant health outcomes among emergency department (ED) patients undergoing abdominopelvic CT for right lower quadrant pain.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This single-institution retrospective cohort study included 2169 patients undergoing abdominopelvic CT for right lower quadrant pain in the ED from February 1, 2012, through August 31, 2016. CT examinations were interpreted by 15 radiologists (four emergency, 11 abdominal) who each reported on more than 70 CT examinations in the cohort. After risk adjustment for covariates thought to influence outcome, including baseline risk (demographics, 30 Elixhauser comorbidities, number of previous ED visits), clinical factors (vital signs, triage and pain scores, laboratory data), and system factors (time of CT, resident involvement, attending physician experience), multivariable models were built to analyze the effect of individual radiologists on four important health outcomes: hospital admission (primary outcome), readmission within 30 days, abdominal surgery, and image-guided percutaneous aspiration or drainage.
RESULTS: Radiologists had a mean experience of 14 years (range, 2–36 years) and read a mean of 145 CT examinations in the study cohort (range, 73–253 examinations). Unadjusted event rates across the 15 radiologists were 38–55% (admission), 11–21% (readmission), 10–26% (surgery), and 0–3% (aspiration or drainage). After risk adjustment, individual radiologists were not a significant multivariable predictor of hospital admission, readmission within 30 days, abdominal surgery, or image-guided abdominal percutaneous aspiration or drainage (all p > 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Individual radiologists were indistinguishable both within group and between group by emergency and abdominal specialization for the prediction of major patient outcomes after abdominopelvic CT performed for right lower quadrant pain in the ED.